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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - How To Defy Your Default Reaction

Steven Furtick - How To Defy Your Default Reaction

Steven Furtick - How To Defy Your Default Reaction

This is an excerpt from: Do The New You

Let me talk a little bit about this topic: how to defy your default setting. I'm just setting y'all up this week. I hope you're going to stick with me for January. A lot of us accept our default setting in a situation as our destiny. When I wake up in the morning, my first thought isn't, "Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father". One man said, "I don't wake up in the morning and say, 'Good morning, Lord.' I wake up and say, 'Good Lord, it's morning.'" That's me. That's morning me. Not only is my breath bad in the morning, but my beliefs are bad too. Y'all brush your teeth? I have to brush my beliefs in the morning. I have to. I promise you I have to. If I don't do that in the morning, there's going to be a meltdown by 10:00 a.m., maybe two in the best-case scenario.

What I'm learning not only from my life but from this passage as I study it is that the awareness of how I start doesn't have to become indicative of where I end, and I cannot use authenticity as permission to sin. I can't just wake up and think a certain way and act a certain way if I belong to God and just call it being real. He didn't say, "Be real". He said, "Be righteous". "Oh, no. I'm just saying what I feel". Who told you to do that? "I'm just speaking my mind". What a horrible book to be speaking from. The book of your mind? The book of your brain, which has been, what the Scripture says, corrupted by deceitful desires? That's the problem.

"Do you". Which me? The me that wants to be happy right now at all costs or the me that will thank me in 10 years for the decisions I made right now? Which one? "Do you". Which one? The one that's going to kick my butt if I keep acting like this for the next five years? The me I don't want to see reproduced in my kids? That one? Just do that? "Yeah, just do you". Just do me, just like my dad did him? No. I believe there is a power in Christ for you to decide, "I don't want to be like what I came from. I want to be like I was created for". So, I wake up in the morning. I have to get some of God's Word. I can't start responding to texts first thing in the morning. I can't touch the screen and start telling people what I think and what I feel first thing in the morning.

I have to get to Deuteronomy, chapter 7, and see what God says. Then maybe I can say something. I have a little gratitude journal. I have to write some things down I'm thankful for in the morning so I don't just start thinking about what I need today, because I'll start the whole day in a deficit, all day running around thinking like I don't have enough strength, I don't have enough energy, unless I start somewhere else. "No, just do you". I'm not doing that anymore. I did me. It almost killed me. I did me, but I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live. I did me. That's too small of an apartment for me to live in. That apartment has roaches. That apartment doesn't have any electricity. That thing is corrupted, corroded, and deceived by sin.

So, I came with a New Year's series to tell you…not me, but in the Lord…that you are being called this year to do the new you. You are not supposed to like new when you first start doing it, and you don't have to like it at first to do it. I went up, Buck, and counted. I've done 2,100-and-something workouts since we built the Pound. That's the little workout room at my house. When we met, I was so inconsistent in working out I was like, "You know, man, I'm just really not one of these guys who comes in and works out consistently. I do it when I can get around to it". I told him that. I was doing me. I told him how I would and wouldn't exercise, but you know what? They got in there and helped me and kept me accountable, and then I counted. It has been eight years now that I've done my workouts, like, five times a week. Y'all don't even care. I'm not bragging.

You're like, "Why are you bragging? If you work out, work out. Don't come up here bragging about it. Preach the Word, man. I don't need to hear all this". I'm telling you, I saw myself as a certain kind of person for all my life. Even the other day, I was telling somebody, "I'm not one of these people who just likes to work out". Then I thought, "Yes, you are". I did the math. If I've been doing that for, like, eight years… You're not supposed to really start working out until you're… How old, Matt? Fourteen, probably, is about the earliest you want to lift weights. That is a good 30 percent of my life that I've been doing it. So I am a person who likes to work out. Imagine that. My default wasn't to do that, but my default is not my destiny. My decisions are. How about that?

Paul says to put off the old way of seeing yourself and put on what he calls the attitude of Christ. What does that mean to put on the new self? I can't see it like a jacket. I can't see it like a hat. I can't see it like a raincoat. I can't see it like New Balances. I can't see it like it's in my wardrobe. It lives within me, but I have the decision to make every day of my life which one I will choose. Every day, every hour, every moment I am deciding, and you are deciding, which you you will do this year. Do you, the one who was made new in the attitude of your mind. Put on the new self. Now we're going to do some study in the text here. In verse 24, he says the new self was created to be like God, and then in verse 23, he says the old self is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.

Let's really look at both of those verses. This is the nexus of Christian praxis. In order to see ourselves as God sees us is not a matter of abstract, ethereal, and philosophical debate. It's a matter of practice. So watch this. He said (verse 23) the old self is being corrupted by the deceitful desires…what you think you want, what you want right now, what the world tells you you should want, what people spend millions of dollars on ad campaigns to get you to think if you had it you would be happy, all of the images you see of the life you imagine that would actually make you happy that is really empty at the bottom of it if it doesn't have God in the middle of it… He says that self is being corrupted and to put on (verse 24) the new self, which was created. Oh, I like that, that they both start with the same letter. I can preach this. One is being corrupted and one was created.

So, when you have an outburst of anger or when you reach for the pills because that's the only way you know how to escape your pain or when you manipulate situations or when you spend until 3:30 a.m. looking at porn and then can't connect in real life or when you find yourself holding on to grudges and trying to pay people back… When you do those things, which are very common in the world, and you say, "That's just how I am," and then Paul says in Ephesians 4:24 that at the heart of the New Testament is the fact that you were created to be like God, and then in verse 22, that the old self, the former way of life, is being corrupted… That means my daily decision is "Corrupted me or created me"? You got it? Why this blesses me so much is that it lets me know that at my core I'm a child of God, that at my core I'm a new creation in Christ.

If you cut me open, Christ would be there. If you ripped open this frame, if you ripped open this body, if you ripped open this physical appearance that you see, at the core of that would be Christ, because I was created to be like God. In true righteousness, not self-righteousness, not the appearance of righteousness. Created to be like God. Not to be god. That's a whole different thing. That's what some of us have been trying to do that keeps us so stressed out. We keep trying to be god over our lives. We keep trying to decide, "What can I do? What should I do"? Then when it doesn't work and when we're weary, we come running. But God said you weren't created to be god. You were created to be conformed to the image of God who made you. You were created to be new, but you are being corrupted by the patterns of the world.

When your mind has been corrupted long enough with patterns of thinking and patterns of speaking, which Ephesians 4 addresses very clearly, you begin to identify with the issues you struggle with more than the image of the God you were made in. So now when you act up and sin and miss it, you think, "That's just me". Now you are using self-awareness as a permission slip to stay stuck in sin. Paul gets right up in the middle of it, and he's like, "I have one question. What would Jesus do"? I'm like, "Paul, I am not Jesus. Jesus is the pure, spotless Lamb of God, Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. I'm not even a letter in the alphabet. He's the first one, the last one, the omicron…he's all of it. I can't do it without Jesus". He's like, "Exactly".

So, that's where I want you to go to get your truth, the truth that is in Jesus. I am sending back to the pit of hell this phrase that got popular in our culture a few years ago: "Live your truth". To hell with your truth. The truth is in Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life. You can't come to the Father without him. You can't be right with God without him. You can't be cleansed without him. You can't make it without him. It is his breath in your lungs. It is his hand on your life. It is his grace that justifies. It is he who raises up one and brings down another. The truth is in Jesus, not me. I don't speak my mind; I speak Jesus. I don't speak my fear; I speak Jesus. I don't live by what I see; I live by faith in the Son of God. I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live. So, I'm doing me, but it's not the "me" you see. It's the "me" that's kicking on the inside. It's the "me" that's coming up alive. It's the "me" that trauma couldn't kill. It's the "me" that drama can't distract. It's the "me" that this world can't corrupt.
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